Purple Lemon Photography

Kansas City Parking Garage Portraits

Friday, March 18, 2016
I am so excited to share a few images from this session for two reasons.

First, when I am walking or driving around anywhere, I have a small conversation going on with myself in the background of my mind. I am asking, "If you had to photograph here, how would you do it? Could you make it work? How would you light it?"

I was headed to Kansas City for a conference last weekend, but knew that I was going to photograph the wonderful Peres family. Having checked the weather, I saw that it was going to be a rather dreary day. Rain. Not quite warm enough to feel refreshed by the rain. And yet, I didn't have any other days with which to reschedule. My tight schedule on the day of the session also, didn't allow us to travel far from the conference location so I could choose a suitable indoor location.

What to do? Use what you've got- a parking garage. I knew that we were going for cityscape backgrounds, so I figured getting us higher than street level was a win anyway, and the overhang from the garage would provide coverage from the rain and perhaps even good light.

After we shot in the garage, the rain let up just long enough to for us to quickly play around in the sprinkles and highlight the families love for superheroes and karate on the roof. Inspired by The Incredibles, "It's a whole family of supers!"

The second reason I love this session is because of the ability of a photograph to show the realness of a person. I love when people respond to photographs with an exclamation about how an expression so fully displays the "real" person. I have known this couple since I was 11 years old, and they hold such a special place to my husband and I that they stood up for our marriage by serving as the Best Man and Matron of Honor at our wedding.

I don't often know the couples and families I photograph quite that well.  However, since I do with this family, it was a special gift for Brian and I to look through each frame and find ourselves amazed  that we can almost hear the exact laugh that Wendee or Josh uttered. Or we know the tone of voice that slipped through Josh's lips at a certain moment. It might not have been the technically perfect "photo face," but yet it was just the exact moment that we know that expression so well, and it feels dear.

My Lovely Levi

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
As important as it is to create the images to accompany your wedding day or the growth of your children, it is also so valuable to me to document my own children.  Not just on the big, important days of their lives, but also on the silly afternoons spent laughing on the couch.  These are the days that shape the lives of my children, and the days that I value so much.

Here are a few photographs of moments I spent with my middle-est, no longer my little-est. 

Value of the Photograph

Tuesday, January 19, 2016
This past week, Brian and I ventured off to Atlanta for a photography conference, to continue to grow as a photographer and as small business owners.  I am a member of Professional Photographers of America, as well as a Certified Professional Photographer (and certification liaison) through this organization.  While we were there, we were able to stay a night with one of our dearest friends.  In a moment, I want to share a small story of what happened during our short few hours together.

Sometimes I wonder about the value of my work, as many surely do.  In the last couple of years, it has become quite apparent to me how valuable the photographic work that I do really is.  We live in a really amazing era with photographs being available to us. They help us remember people and events that so quickly pass us by, and more important than that, they to help us draw encouragement via photographs of those people who mean so much to us.

Lives are fragile, and when we have a photograph to help us remember someone, it can bring such comfort.  You can not only remember certain events, but the photograph can draw us into remembering a laugh, a smile, the look in the eyes, and so much more than that.  Photographs can evoke us to remember the gift that we have in our families and friends.

Many people that I have photographed, from the very young to the very old have passed away.  I know from notes written to me, emails, and posts on Facebook that the photographs taken at family portraits or weddings are cherished and hold so much value. I count it an honor to have created a photograph of a moment that will help a family member draw comfort in remembering.

Though we had just a few hours to spend with our friend, I was able to celebrate in the value of the photograph.  She is in a challenging season of many difficult changes, and with just a short time together do you know what we did together? She showed us a few photographs of her family history. With giddiness, she pulled this aging photograph from a box to show us her grandparents on their wedding day.  What a bit of delight added to a weighty season.  She has discovered many special photographs of her grandmother and has been able to talk to her and learn more about her family with these photographs as illustrations.

It is sincerely a pleasure for me to photograph weddings and moments like this that one day will delight your grandchildren and children.  I find such delight in knowing that I can create the illustrations to the stories your family will tell for years to come.

Lakeside Portraits

Thursday, November 12, 2015
Each year I take some individual time with my oldest son to photograph him and do something creative as a photographer. He has come to love this annual event and each year tries to find something special to do or include again, while I try to press in and find something new or different that shows his growth and change. I do what I try to do with my clients in choosing locations, colors, or props that hold meaning to him.

We started this routine when he was the age that our 2nd son is now, so this was the year I planned to give him the same adventure.

But as the time drew near (or so we thought) for our 3rd son to come home to us from Ghana, I stalled. I thought, "Well, maybe this time we should try to get family photos altogether." Then, "We should take individual photos and family photos". I waffled back and forth with all the options, and tended to think we should wait.

Finally I realized that right now we're enjoying who we are as a household right now, and part of that family experience is yearning for their brother. And right now, there are just two of them here. So two of them I photographed.

I opted to take them to the same place at the same time and let the four of us interact together and just enjoy one of the last warmish days of the year together.

Six years.
 Two years.
 I love this because:
1. They are laughing at their Dad
2. Eli always wants to sit on Levi's Rocky Donkey, but rarely gets to
3. Levi is holding our "Silas Doll" which was lovingly given to us as a gift for Silas and gave us a way to incorporate our waiting into the photographs
 Levi wanted to photograph me. Later, he saw it and wondered what happened to my head.
 Brian + Me co-photographing.
A family photo at sunset. Complete with tripod. Nope, actually, I brought pieces from two different tripods on accident, so as the sun sank lower and lower and we stuck the camera on a styrofoam cooler in the trunk and propped the lens up with a pretzel. But there we are, at the end of a nice afternoon at the local lake, and only one brother threw the other brother's boot into the lake.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Earlier, I posted about the beauty in the everyday, the details that make our lives so enjoyable. We have a package called a This Season package which documents just that, and shows the season of life you are in right now, so later when many seasons have passed you can recall those special details. 

The idea for this documentary-styled approach to a photography session was birthed, in part, from our family's shift in eating and living more accordingly to the change of natural seasons around us.  Part of that includes actually harvesting and preserving our local in-season foods, such as apples. Each time I do it, I simply love the entire process and find it so enticing for my eyes. It's lovely for my tongue to partake of ripe, fresh raspberries and peaches, but also for my eyes to see such lovely colors, shapes, and forms. It's truly delightful. 

Here's a small sampling of the experience we shared as a family making applesauce. 

A Boy and his Rocky Donkey

As a business, I am in particularly interesting season, because as a person I am in a particularly interesting season. We thought that right now I would be on maternity leave, so most of our Purple Lemon work is on hold.  We are adopting a son from Ghana and his homecoming has been delayed. (To keep up with that story, you can follow our adoption blog, Ghana Love.)  This has left me itching to photograph, and with time for small personal projects. 

A few weeks ago, the sun came falling in soft stripes across our floor in the familiar way that it does each fall as the sun sits lower in the sky. Our not quite three year old's Rocky Donkey (his rocking horse) sat right in the shafts of light, accompanied by a sole cowboy boot.  As I began to photograph this little scene, our son began to engage with the scene and realized there was a stray string on the boot. Determined to fix the problem on his own, he got a table knife and began the detailed child's work of cutting the string. 

It was a such a pleasure to document this everyday scene, seeing the artfulness in our common occurrences, as my child matures and does the hard work of learning and figuring out his world. 

There are so often moments we have with details you'd rather not soon forget.  I love the photographs we have of my kids reading books with my husband on the couch. With projects spread across the kitchen table. Or of our family getting apples ready for apple sauce.  These are moments that are full of beauty and memory, and I have found a great love in capturing that with my camera both to share and remember. 

A year or two ago, it really struck me how valuable these tidbits are and how much enjoyment I get in photographing the experiences and the details. It's part of why I love our specialty of photographing weddings, it's full of experiences and details.  But it applies to so much more of our lives than big noteworthy events.  The little things are, too. 

We have even created a package called This Season that does exactly that. It lets me be a fly on the wall of whatever it is you do as a couple, a family, even an individual- as you do it on purpose with those you love. I'd spend a few hours just capturing the details of This Season of your life. 

As winter comes, often full of warm fuzzies, and you think you are stuck indoors for months on end, (First, consider going outside. It's nice.) consider it as a perfect time to use your own home as the location you have for This Season. 

(Yes, I know I have this exciting maternity leave coming sometime, hopefully sooner than later, but it won't last forever, so let's get something on the calendar...)
Then he climbed on the trampoline, which perhaps, lacks some of the darling aesthetic of his Rocky Donkey with it's neon orange duct tape, but still, a photograph I'd like to keep.